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IFS reports rise in female advisers seeking diploma

According to applications data from the IFS for its Diploma for Financial Advisers, 22 per cent of all applications so far in 2013 have come from women seeking their QCF Level 4.

This is a marked rise on the 12 per cent recorded across the whole of 2010.

Anne Kiem, chief executive of the IFS, said: “These figures show that the sector is becoming more appealing to people from different backgrounds. In the long-term, an increasingly diverse and highly-qualified workforce will ultimately be to the benefit of both the industry and the consumer seeking advice.”

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Angela Melanophy, financial planning consultant for AM Mortgage & Financial Services, is currently studying the Institute’s Level 6 Advanced Diploma in Financial Advice.

She said: “Having set up my own IFA practice nearly 15 years ago, with the specific service proposition of catering for female retail customers, it is especially pleasing to see these figures showing the increasing diversity of the sector.

“Similarly, as my career has advanced through my professional studies, including my present qualification – the Institute’s Level 6 Advanced Diploma in Financial Advice – there have been noticeably more female students as each year progresses, which will stand the industry and its customers in good stead.”

This comes on top of increasing political and industry pressure to promote more high-calibre women to boardroom positions.

The 30% Club has been gaining more members and seeking to influence industry and senior female executives alike to take up and accept boardroom positions in FTSE-listed and other companies.

The aim is to encourage all boards to have at least 30 per cent female and minority membership to engender better diversity of views and opinions and skill sets.

David Childs, managing partner for Clifford Chance, is a member of the 30% Club. He said: “It is business critical for Clifford Chance to achieve a level of at least 30 per cent women in our partnership.

“This is for a number of reasons: to ensure that we are offering proper career prospects to the very many female graduates who join us each year; to better respond to the increasing number of women in senior roles within our clients; to reflect diversity better in society at large; to enrich the intellectual capital of our partnership; and generally broaden our thinking.”